An intellectual freedom blog with an emphasis on libraries and technology

Friday, February 16, 2007

weer legeslaters, we rite this stuf

Republicans demonstrate the they do not know or understand the law

In an AP story today I read that a "group of conservative House members" accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of copyright violation and trademark infringement by using a passage from C-SPAN on her blog. Ahem, folks, facts can not be copyrighted. Government proceedings by definition can not have copyright protection. You see, we're paying their salaries (and for the cameras that shot the footage).

Aside from the usual question - are they lying or stupid - I find this another interesting example of the nearly monarchist behavior of the "Republican Study Committee" in its consideration of government deliberations as somehow a commercial commodity for their select group to control with legal protections. What does this mean? If C-SPAN puts their trademark protected label on government deliberations then that corporation "owns" the record of what transpired and the rest of us must pay to see and to show clips of it?! And this from people who vote on laws? OK folks, lying or stupid, take your pick.

(You can find it in most sources that have AP feeds, such as Yahoo news,, etc.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Does Reality Matter?

Pentagon investigates itself and admits to lies

In a recent Yahoo News article, brought to my attention by a great new blog I discovered recently (Peace takes Courage), The Defense Department's inspector general released a devastating report that implicates Pentagon officials in the lies that led the U.S. into war. The following is a Bureaucratese - English dictionary to help you understand what the officials are actually saying when you read the story: Report says Pentagon manipulated intel

[Bureaucratese]: Gimble's report said Feith's office had made assertions "that were inconsistent with the consensus of the intelligence community."

Translation: he lied!

[Bureaucratese]: Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman denied that the office was producing its own intelligence products, saying they were challenging what was coming in from intelligence-gathering professionals, "looking at it with a critical eye."

Translation: The information was not what we wanted it to be so we questioned everything that did not support what we wanted to believe.

[Bureaucratese]: Republicans on the panel disagreed. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said the "probing questions" raised by Feith's policy group improved the intelligence process.

Translation: But not the intelligence itself, which was horseshit. The process was greatly improved.

[Bureaucratese]: Feith said in a telephone interview that he had not seen the report but was pleased to hear that it concluded his office's activities were neither illegal nor unauthorized.

Translation: Well duh! It was not illegal to lie like rugs as we were not under oath (unlike the adulterer scum).

[Bureaucratese]: "The policy office has been smeared for years by allegations that its pre-Iraq-war work was somehow 'unlawful' or 'unauthorized' and that some information it gave to congressional committees was deceptive or misleading," said Feith.

Translation: We're either lying or incompetent. Take your pick.